Need of Digital Marketing for MSMEs post-Covid

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If we are to imagine a pyramid named Economy, the base would be MSME, that’s how important the sector is for our country’s economy.

These are called growth accelerators of the Indian economy, contributing about 30% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and about 40% of the overall exports.

Post-Covid, the base has its own base- Digital Marketing. The whole of the MSME sector is sustained today by the same with the Pandemic shutting us in closed doors.

Anyone even remotely associated with MSMEs knows that one of the major issues with the same is budgetary constraints and resource crunch. And a medium as inexpensive as Digital marketing only comes as a solution to many of the problems.

And, the importance of digital marketing is only going to increase exponentially in the coming times.

Here are 5 reasons Digital marketing can be the answer MSME’s are looking for:

1. Better revenue: An article once quoted, “Land is a limited resource so the only way to increase production is to intensify the use of the same land.” If we understood the statement well enough, it would open doors for many of the solutions we were looking for.

The budget cannot be increased for a given MSME? But you still want the business to grow?

Use the given budget efficiently. Get ahead of those cold calls and use your resources well. 

Keller Research Center has found out that the outbound selling strategy of cold calling only has a 2.5% success rate.  

Digital marketing as a marketing resource is cheaper than most the conventional resources available, making it easier for small businesses to manage themselves.

Better techniques, better revenue!

2. Real-time results: One thing all businesses want, small or big is instant results. Let’s be honest, there is nothing like an instant result. Everything that seems instant involves hours of hard work and resilience in the background. But, Digital marketing has crossed all conventional boundaries to make this a reality too. 

The results may be positive or negative, but the results are instant. You can track who clicked on what, who almost bought your product, who liked what. Constantly updating your strategy according to the analytics is the only way up the ladder.

Pageviews per visit, number of site visits, time spent per visit is a few categories of tracking data to give you an idea. 

3. Networking acts like a Domino game: Sometimes, all it takes for a business to boom is a viral post. Networking as a word itself gives an idea, it is the network that does the job, not us.

We all have seen ‘The social dilemma’ and how social media is designed in a way that a user ‘ACTS’. We might as well use the intelligent design for our own use.

A person liking your product, suggests it to her friend, her friend introduces it to her company colleagues, the boss of the company likes it and you end up with a huge order in hand.

Sounds attractive, right? But, hey, before pushing that first domino tile, you have to put in the effort to arrange all pieces in the line. 

4. Personal Branding: A ‘Zara’ tag on a dress from Sarojini Nagar would automatically shoot up its value and price. That’s what branding does to a product. Once you identify yourself with the customer as a brand, nothing would stop you from growing. 

And this branding comes with consistent delivery of quality products and marketing. Digital marketing comes in here too to steal the limelight.

Lucidpress has found out that consistent presentation of a brand has seen to increase revenue by 33%.

Social media personalizes the experience of the customer with your company and vice versa and it becomes the first step in establishing your brand. 

5. There is no ‘Online Lockdown’: With Covid- 19 shutting more and more doors every day, the only way out is creating a digital marketplace. This pandemic has forced MSMEs to establish themselves online to carry on their businesses, but it has also eventually made them realize the magic of the same. 

Not only is it immune from worldly problems, but it has keys to unlocking the potential of their businesses even unknown to them.

The reasons are clear, data is the new gold, and we are miners, each one of us, customers, businesses, social media controllers, etc. The novel ‘Ready Player One’ by Ernest Cline depicts the Internet accurately as what we can call a virtual world that comes closer and closer to reality the more we observe and know it.

Now that we’re clear on the reasons why MSME’s need to employ Digital marketing as their strategy, we shall now see the ways they can do it.

Below are 5 ways MSME’s can utilize this tool-

1. Climb higher in SERP: Google Search Engine Result Page (SERP) holds the key to unlocking all the untapped potential of your company. Google doesn’t see the size of your company, it identifies your commitment to your customers. But, you need to be visible.

And, here is where Google Ads, Search Engine Optimization, Google My Business, Google Console comes in. Too much?

Let’s break it down.

1.1 Google Ads are paid campaigns, you can write an Ad copy, target your audience, simplify to them your workings and get real-time data on how many of your leads convert. 

1.2 Search Engine Optimization would mean optimizing your online data in such a way that it finds its way up the search engine rankings, is more visible and accessible- without paying.

Write blogs, answer queries, use specific keywords. Better to hire an SEO expert than being stuck in cold calls, makes sense, right?

1.3 Get your company listed on Google My Business, Google Console. All these fancy words mean nothing but increasing the visibility of your content. And hence, your product.

2. Social Media marketing/management: We spend hours scrolling on Instagram, Facebook. And it costs nothing. We seldom realize we are acting as customers when we scroll through our favorite bakery page or the bookseller page. Every business- big or small, today, makes sure of their thriving online presence and so should you, especially if you are new. 

Social media marketing requires skill to not make the customer feel like a customer, to not make the whole thing feel like marketing. The social media user is your friend and you have to talk to them about your business. Answer their questions, increase your brand loyalty. That’s it. 

And, there are Social media Ads that are increasingly getting popular for gaining traction.

The Drum sites, ‘In 2015 Facebook influenced 52 percent of consumers’ online and offline purchases, up from 36 percent in 2014.’

Crazy, right?

3. Guest Blogging: Reaching out to already established brands and websites is always a good idea for MSME’s. This type of Digital marketing involves going through websites and blogs of similar businesses, identifying broken links or keywords where your website can be linked. This is a win-win for both. Increased linking would boost up their crawl ability, and your blog link on a high-ranked article would increase your visibility.

Sure, this requires patience but the returns are worth it!

4. E-mail marketing: This involves making a list of your target audience and addressing them directly with everything you think they need to know about your service. As simple as it sounds, it is proven to be one of the most effective techniques to convert your leads into sales.

OptinMonster found out, on average, email marketing has a 4400% ROI. 

Econsultancy’s research found out, 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement.

Yes, the numbers are talking and we should listen!

5. Have a website: All fancy terms aside, we emphasize here the importance of conventional methods, having your own website. Like a digital showroom, once a customer enters in, it has to be informative and attractive enough to hold attention. 

Work on it, add visual graphics.  

HubSpot tells you ‘Visual content is more than 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content.’ 

Wrapping it up!

There are 1.5 billion social media users across the globe. That’s almost the entire population of India we’re talking about. The potential The Internet holds, especially post Covid times, cannot be undermined.

It is always uncomfortable for us to move out of our conventional zones, but beyond the conventional, resides the extraordinary, which is waiting for you.

Be curious, learn and implement! And don’t let that idea of yours die an untimely death. Nurture it with the information and platforms out there. 

Especially, post Covid, when shopping for us means getting on Amazon, scrolling through Instagram business, Facebook Ads, etc, getting listed online for an MSME is the only logical next step.

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